Protect Your Legal Rights After a San Bernardino Accident Involving DUI

According to a September 2017 article in the San Bernardino Sun, a 24-year-old San Bernardino male was accused of driving under the influence and causing a car accident. The man hit another vehicle during the crash. The accident killed the driver and seriously injured a passenger. He was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter along with driving under the influence.

The accident happened in the 1200 block of Kendall Drive. The drunk driver was allegedly speeding south on Kendall Drive around 1 p.m. He allegedly slammed into a Ford Escape that was traveling southbound at the time. The car accident caused massive damage to the Ford Escape. The impact sent the suspect’s vehicle, a Jetta, into a third vehicle, as well.

In addition to those injured in the first crash, two people were also injured in the third vehicle crash. The suspect was also injured during the car accidents. At the time of the article, police were investigating the accident and asking for anyone’s help who witnessed what happened.

A victim of a car accident involving a driver under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can sue in civil court. Civil court allows a victim to obtain damages connected to the car accident such as medical bills and lost wages. A civil case is different from a criminal case. The state prosecutes the DUI suspect for committing the offense of driving under the influence. They can seek restitution, but generally they are trying to punish the driver for breaking California law.

Suing for Damages in a San Bernardino DUI Car Accident

Filing a claim is the second step in protecting legal rights in a DUI car accident. To win the civil case, the accident victim must prove the other driver was negligent while driving and that the negligence caused an accident with injuries.

In a DUI crash, negligence per se will help an accident victim win or even settle a case. Negligence per se, which means the thing speaks for itself, shows that the driver broke the law. Since the driver broke the traffic law and caused an accident, the broken law shows wrongdoing.

Contact Sanford A. Kassel Regarding Your DUI-Related Car Accident

The first way to protect your legal rights is by contacting a personal injury attorney immediately after your crash. This protects your legal rights to sue for damages if the insurance company rejects your claim or there is no settlement. You attorney will file a claim in civil court while working on your insurance claim or settlement.

Negligence per se makes a strong case for either a win in civil court or a settlement. It is obvious the other driver broke the law by operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. However, you will still have to prove your case. Contact us immediately for help with your DUI-related car accident.

A Victim of a San Bernardino Car Accident can Sue Even if Partially at Fault

According to a July 2017 article in The Press-Enterprise, three people were killed in an accident after a man ran a red light. A man driving an SUV allegedly crashed into a car in Apple Valley.

The car crash happened in the early afternoon at the intersection of Bear Valley Road and Deep Creek Road. The SUV’s driver ran a red light and crashed into a 2013 Honda Civic turning west from Deep Creek Road.

The driver and occupant of the Honda, a 63-year-old male and 77-year-old passenger, died at the accident scene. The SUV driver was airlifted to the hospital where he later died.

The police were investigating the accident at the time of the article and did not initially have another cause of the crash.

Pure Comparative Negligence Allows a Victim who Shares Blame in an Accident to Sue for Damages

A defendant trying to avoid paying an injured plaintiff will have many legal defenses to help avoid liability. One type of defense is called comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is claiming that a plaintiff injured in a car accident did something wrong to help cause the accident, essentially contributing to his or her own injuries.

According to California law, an injured victim has the responsibility of protecting him or herself from harm by not doing anything to cause an accident. If an accident does occur and the injured plaintiff is at fault, a judge can compare fault.

In some states, if the injured plaintiff is deemed to be at fault more than 50%, then he or she cannot receive damages. Other states use a form of comparative negligence that alters the amount an injured plaintiff can receive if he or she shares fault for the accident.

Pure Comparative Negligence in San Bernardino

In California, comparative negligence is further broken down into another type of negligence called pure comparative negligence.

Pure comparing fault involves assessing a percentage of fault to each driver. The amount of the plaintiff’s fault decreases his or her damages. For example, a defendant ran a red light and caused an accident. The injured plaintiff was texting at the time and did not see the driver coming towards him or her. A judge or jury would assign a percentage of fault to the injured plaintiff.

Let’s say it the injured plaintiff’s fault was 30%. If he or she did not share fault, he or she would receive 100% of damages. Being 30% at fault, the plaintiff would receive 70% of damages.

Contact Sanford A. Kassel About Your San Bernardino Car Accident

If you are partially at fault for an accident caused by another driver, you are still allowed to seek damages. Compensation for lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering are common types of damages sought in a car accident case. Since you may be partially at fault for the crash, your amount of damages may be lower than someone who did not share fault in the crash, but this does not mean you do not have the right to file a claim.

Contact us about your car accident in southern California. We will determine the cause of the accident and if you really share fault.

Three Elements Needed to Establish a Product Liability Claim

pacemaker

According to a July 2017 report in California Healthline, DNA linked deadly germs to tainted devices used during heart surgeries to a German Factory.

Contamination at a German factory was likely the source of a global outbreak of deadly infections in heart patients. Scientists discovered the source by using whole-genome sequencing to match the DNA fingerprint samples taken from patients in several countries.

A 55-year-old Pennsylvania man was among patients infected with the germ in the United States. He appeared to recover well after his open-heart surgery in March of 2015. However, a product liability lawsuit filed on his behalf claimed that he became ill with a mysterious illness shortly thereafter. He had to be re-hospitalized because of an infection allegedly acquired via the heater-cooler unit used during his operation. He later died from the infection.

About 250,000 heart operations done in the United States each year use this same device. Approximately 60% are completed using the German heater-cooler model device approved in the U.S. in 2006.

Early reports of problems with the devices began in 2002. However, the FDA became aware of the problem in 2014. The FDA waited about a year to inform the public about the problem with the devices. Many hospitals, including the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, still use the devices during their heart surgeries. They place the device in a different room connected to operating room to try to avoid patients become infected.

The outcome of the lawsuits involving the devices are not yet known.

Product Liability in San Bernardino

Every product on the market is not supposed to injure a consumer when used properly. Unfortunately, companies do not always make products safe for public use. When a product injures a consumer, it is considered a defective product. The defect can be caused by a:

  • Manufacturing flaw
  • Design defect
  • Inadequate instructions or warnings

Three Elements Needed to Establish a San Bernardino Product Liability Claim

To successfully win a product liability claim, a consumer must prove three things, called elements in legal terms. These three elements are:

  1. The product was defective. It may be obvious, but the court requires a consumer prove that there was a design or manufacturing flaw with the product. If the flaw was an inadequate warning, that must be shown, too. The consumer also has the burden of proving they used the product in the way it intended.
  2. The defect existed prior to the company, or defendant, placing the product on the market.
  3. The defect caused the consumer’s damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages

Contact the Attorneys of Sanford A. Kassel Law About Your San Bernardino Product Liability Claim

Products on the market are supposed to be safe to use. When they cause an injury, you have the right to sue for your damages. Contact us about your product liability claim. We are ready to fight for you.

Only Specific Family Members can Sue in a San Bernardino Wrongful Death Claim

wrongful death

The families of San Bernardino attack victims have sued social media companies for wrongful death, according to a Los Angeles Times May 2017 article.

The families filed a wrongful death claim in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Google and social media sites Facebook and Twitter. They allege the companies allowed the Islamic State to build an online presence and disseminate its extremist beliefs. The presence allowed it to recruit and promote attacks like the December 2, 2015 shooting at the Inland Regional Center.

In the 2015 attack, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, shot 14 people. A total of 22 people were injured during the attack. The families of some of the victims claim the social media and Internet companies allowed the posting of content supportive to Islamic State that radicalized the couple.

In other words, the defendants were liable for aiding and abetting wrongful death, international terrorism, and providing support for terror groups.

The defendants, in their response filed with the court, sympathized with the families. However, they claim no liability in the victims’ death.

What is a San Bernardino Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of a loved one killed because of someone’s negligence. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages, or money, related to their loved one’s untimely death. The reason it is a wrongful death is because it is an untimely death cause by the negligent acts of a company or person.

Not every family member can sue for their loved one’s death. California personal injury law permits only certain family members to file such a claim.

Immediate San Bernardino Family Members are Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim

Family members or a deceased person, commonly called survivors, can file a wrongful death claim separately or jointly. Jointly refers to one of more family members filing one lawsuit together. The immediate family members, or surviving relatives, who can file a wrongful death claim are the loved one’s spouse and children.

If the Loved One had No Spouse or Children, a Wrongful Death Claim can Still be Filed

In certain situations, an individual who dies because of a negligent act may not have children or a spouse. According to California wrongful death law, a small group of family members are then allowed to file a claim. The family members next in line to file a claim are the victim’s:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Children of the loved one’s siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Any lineal descendants

However, if the victim does not have any of those family members, another set of relatives can file a claim. They include:

  • Putative spouse
  • Children of the putative spouse
  • Stepchildren

When experience counts, you can trust the San Bernardino wrongful death lawyers at Sanford A. Kassel, A Professional Law Corporation.

Your family member had a long life ahead of him or her. Now you are left to pay the expenses related to your loved one’s death. Let us help you obtain the money you need to pay your loved one’s expenses. Contact us.